News Center

Hendrix Odyssey Program Announces Latest Funding for Student and Faculty Projects

CONWAY, Arkansas (April 5, 2024)—The Hendrix College Committee on Engaged Learning has announced $84,428.06 in Odyssey Program funding awarded to 14 projects in the February 2024 funding cycle. These projects involve a range of academic, professional, and personal explorations, from tying fishing flies to joining archeological digs to researching PFAS interactions with microplastics to establishing a sustainability garden on campus. 

Since 2005, the Committee on Engaged Learning has awarded more than $5 million—$5,172,335.57 to be exact—in competitive Odyssey grants to support 1,561 projects by Hendrix students, faculty, and staff. This cycle’s funding recipients span four of the six Odyssey Program exploration categories:




Oliver Naumann ’26
The Art of Fly Tying

: Andrew Morgan

Oliver will study, design, and create multiple fly patterns appropriate to three methods of fly fishing and will share his designs, along with a fly-tying demonstration, in a final presentation or instructional video.




Kirsten Brewer ’26
Official Hendrix Internship: Dental Assisting for Pre-Dentistry
Supervisor: Andrew Schurko

Through the Central Arkansas School of Dental Assisting, Kirsten will participate in a 10-week summer program to become a certified and registered dental assistant, which will provide practical experience to support her plans to attend dental school and become a dentist after graduation from Hendrix.


Kanyn Utley ’25
Official Hendrix Internship: Strength and Conditioning at Mayflower High School
Supervisor: Andrew Schurko

Over the summer, Kanyn will serve as a strength and conditioning coach for the Mayflower (AR) High School athletic teams developing and implementing workout programs for multiple sports, working with individuals in sport-specific movement, daily monitoring of athletes, testing and measurement of athletic performance, teaching athletic technique, assisting with summer competitions, and more.




Madeline Caldwell ’26, Jessie Doyle ’26, Annalee Wesson ’26
Sustainability Garden

Supervisor: Candice Thomas

Madeline, Jessie, and Annalee will spend the first part of the summer planning and establishing an on-campus garden, including developing composting and watering systems, with the intention of supporting faculty research interests, connecting the campus community to nature, and providing additional food sourcing.


Vincenzo Redditt ’25, Annie West ’26
Roman Archaeology in Portugal
Supervisor: Chris Campolo

Vincenzo and Annie will participate in a 2-week field school experience where they will learn proper excavation techniques, artifact processing, archaeological drawing, and site surveying.


Natalie Chidester ’26, Kathryn Tucker ’25
American Sociological Association Presentation: Mashrou’ Leila’s Musical Affective Politics: Queer Resistance in the Egyptian Social and Political Uprising
Supervisor: Izat El Amoor

Natalie and Kathryn will co-present research they did with Dr. El Amoor regarding the death by suicide of a Queer Egyptian following an incident at a Mashrou’ Leila concert as contextualization of increasing state-sponsored homophobic violence.




Ted Bjurlin ’25, Colin Phillips ’26, Katherine Reid ’25
Research and Development of the Disco Language for Teaching Discrete Mathematics
Supervisor: Brent Yorgey

Ted, Colin, and Katherine will grow their understanding of functional programming, combinatorics, and type theory by each addressing a different research question coming out of Dr. Yorgey’s development of a programming language called Disco.


Danny Caceres ’27
Developing Dipeptide Self-Assembly Design Principles from All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Supervisor: Jakob Anderson

Building on previous faculty research, Danny will learn computational chemistry techniques and analyses by studying the role hydrophobicity plays in the aggregation of dipeptides.


Andres Caro
Effect of cytochrome P450 on ferroptosis in cancer cells

A student will support Dr. Caro’s research to better understand the role of the enzyme cytochrome P450 in promoting a particular type of cell death.


Tanvi Kiran ’27
Controlling Chaos in a Piecewise Linear Map  

: Lars Seme

Tanvi will investigate a complicated mathematical model, write a computer program to help with analyses of that model, and design a simple control mechanism for the model.


Matthew Mabry ’25, Katie McClure ’26*
Costa Rica Conservation
Supervisor: Maureen McClung

Matthew and Katie will spend the summer working with the Children’s Eternal Rainforest with a particular focus on amphibian populations. In addition, Katie will immerse herself in Spanish language learning through a homestay with a local family and by taking Spanish classes at the Centro Panamericano de Idioma (CPI) Spanish Immersion School in Monteverde.

*co-funded by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation


Matthew Reid
Plant and soil responses to the extended drawdown of Lake Conway

Dr. Reid and students Braeden Hurley ’25 and Ty Tillman ’27 will partner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission on research related to changes in the soil, plant, and fungi communities resulting from the draining of Lake Conway.

Elise Remerscheid ’27
Characterizing the Spectroscopic Impact of Perfluorinated Alkanes Systems (PFAS) with Microplastics from All-Atom Molecular Dynamics Simulations
Supervisor: Jakob Anderson

In collaboration with Dr. Anderson, Elise will research PFAS interactions with microplastics with a particular focus on communicating findings in easily understandable ways to broad audiences.

Avery Cagle ’26, Lathan Smalley ’26
Fractal Dimension in Boundaries of Newton’s Method 
Supervisor: Lars Seme

Avery and Lathan will spend the summer exploring numeric fractal dimensions, constructing an algorithm to approximate the fractal dimension and testing it on well-known fractals, and then applying it to fractals generated by Newton’s Method.

About Hendrix College

Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges and celebrated among the country’s leading liberal arts colleges for academic quality, engaged learning opportunities and career preparation, vibrant campus life, and value. The Hendrix College Warriors compete in 21 NCAA Division III sports. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. Learn more at   

“… Through engagement that links the classroom with the world, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living, the Hendrix community inspires students to lead lives of accomplishment, integrity, service, and joy.” —Hendrix College Statement of Purpose